3 of the Most Instagram-Worthy Spots in Page, Arizona16 May 2016
Two years ago, our family spent Christmas in Sedona, Arizona, and took a trip up to the Grand Canyon. I begged to drive the extra three hours out to the city of Page to wander down into Navajo sandstone canyons because their burnt-orange and sometimes even wine-colored hues were magnificently curious to me, but we didn't have the time.
I'm so glad we saved those canyons for another trip of its own, because they also happen to be nestled among a few other beauties that are absolutely not to be missed.
1 | ANTELOPE CANYON
Holy smokes, Batman! The Antelope Canyons I was so eager to see are just as otherworldly as I imagined. Among our group of four, this was unanimously voted as our favorite experience of our mini American Southwest road trip through Arizona and Utah. To saunter through the twisting, wave-like, ginger-colored slot canyons, you'll need to be accompanied by a Navajo guide. You can explore the Upper Antelope Canyons, the Lower Antelope Canyons, or both if you'd like. Tours last approximately one and a half hours each.
The Upper Antelope Canyon is more popular because it is more readily accessible, and the iconic sunbeams that pour through the slots—almost like a spotlight from the heavens far above—are reported more frequently. We chose to visit the Lower Antelope Canyon because we knew it would be less crowded, tickets were less expensive at $28 per person as opposed to $58, yet it is equally as majestic.
We recommend going with Ken's Guided Tours. Despite having chosen the less expensive standard tour as opposed to a photography specific tour, our guide Martinez was very helpful, offering tips and tricks on how to set up your iPhone or SLR to properly capture the canyons. My photos were somewhat washed out due to the lighting conditions until Martinez gave me some hints.
Peaceful, serene, and crazy gorgeous is the best way I can describe Lake Powell. Straddling the border of Utah and Arizona, this man-made reservoir is a popular destination for summer travelers, especially those looking to rent a houseboat and explore the winding canyons for a long weekend.
By boat is the best way to truly witness the grandeur of Lake Powell, so at somewhat of a snap decision, we rented a deck boat—similar to what we midwesterners know and love to be a pontoon boat. After swiping our credit card for only $120 (really, a steal) and practically signing our lives away on a waiver, we cruised our way out from Antelope Point Marina into the pristine blue waters, marveling at the walls of canyons towering over us. And with April technically still being off-season despite the nearly 70 degree weather, we were lucky to have the place almost entirely to ourselves for two hours.
If you're into night sky photography, definitely consider Lake Powell, as we suspect light pollution to be at a minimum out here.
3 | HORSESHOE BEND
Commit to making the short drive outside of Page, Arizona, and the 20-minute hike to the observation point, and get ready to have your breath wrenched forcefully from your lungs. The photos you see on Instagram really don't do Horseshoe Bend justice. You can literally walk out to what feels like the edge of the earth, and peer down below you into a canyon that the Colorado obliviously snakes through. Feel fortunate enough to be staring right into the Grand Canyon itself, one of the United States' most treasured natural beauties.
Can you just imagine what it must have been like to have accidentally stumbled upon this place on your own, long before Instagram and the Internet were even twinkles in the eyes of their makers?
Visiting Horseshoe Bend is free to those willing to make the trip, and the best time to photograph it is the golden hour—shortly before sunrise or sunset.
BONUS | NAVAJO BRIDGE
About a 30 minute drive south down US-89 from Horseshoe Bend, you'll find a set of twin bridges that overlook another section of the Colorado River. One of the bridges is for pedestrians only, so take a trip out to its center and enjoy the spectacular views down into the Grand Canyon. We took a trip out here just before the sun set, which turned the sky a hazy purplish gray, making for an incredible contrast against the fire-colored sandstone canyons that stretched around us. At only an hour roundtrip from Page, it's worth the extra effort.
Check back soon for a full itinerary on our mini American Southwest road trip!